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Currency Exchange, Cell Phone Use, & Internet access

new jersey
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Currency Exchange, Cell Phone Use, & Internet access

Not sure if this has been posted, but we're going to Negril and wanted to know if it's necessary to exchange American dollars to Jamaican dollars. If so, does anyone know the best approach (ie. exchange at the airport, hotel,, etc.)?

As for cell phones, does anyone know what, if any, cell phone service works in Negril? (I have Cingular).

Also, I'm bringing my laptop & would need Internet service; is it easily accessible at most of the hotels (we're staying at the Xtabi) & is there wireless?

Appreciate any help!

Thanks!

Illinois
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1. Re: Currency Exchange, Cell Phone Use, & Internet access

Flamenco,

Call Cellular and they will make it so your phone will work in Jamaica. They do it for no charge but its $1.99 per min. If you are going to use it much, they have another plan which costs $5.99 and then the rate is $1.69 per min.

I have not had much luck finding a place for plug in or wireless internet. However there are seveal Internet cafes and most hotels have a computer that you can use for email. I don't bring my laptop...Tend to spill things in it when enjoying too much rum.

Its amzing how quickly those all imortant emails lose their importance after a couple of days in Negril.

As for changing your dollars, I usually change enough into jamaican Dollars to pay at local shops, better rate and I like helping the local economy. BUt you really don't need to. Almost everyplace accepts American Money.

Trance

St. Louis, MO
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2. Re: Currency Exchange, Cell Phone Use, & Internet access

You shouldn't need to exchange currency, but I would encourage you to take mainly ones fives and tens. You'll have a really tough time breaking anything larger without having to buy some junk you don't want in the hotel gift shop. You'll be able to haggle with vendors much more effectively with ones than a wad of twenties.

As for cellphones, my wife's Sprint phone worked, but mine (also Sprint) didn't. Not sure why, but I did buy the international roaming plan beforehand to get a better rate.

Leave your laptop at home. It'll only wear your shoulder out lugging it through the airport, and it probably won't fit in your room safe. Relax and have fun while you're in Negril. Work can (and unfortunately will) wait.

Central Ohio
Destination Expert
for Negril, Port Antonio, Treasure Beach
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3. Re: Currency Exchange, Cell Phone Use, & Internet access

There's a wireless place on the beach road.

http://www.surfntalk.com.jm/

Your cell phone might work, will be expensive. If you plan to talk much BUY a Digicell in JA and get prepaid calling cards, it will be much cheaper. The phones are around $30 (and up) and minutes are cheap.

I do exchange my trav checks and US$ for JA$, there are cambios along the beach road in Negril and also in the supermarket in town as they have the best rates (along with banks but banks have long lines).

Small US bills are invaluable, especially singles nad 5's.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Currency Exchange, Cell Phone Use, & Internet access

I have Cingular and I had to call them and they set my phone up with the Digicel network so my phone would work while in Jamaica however it is VERY expensive. Not only will Cingular charge you but so will Digicel because you are using their network. Also be aware that if your phone is turned off and you turn it on and messages come through you will get charged. I learned this the hard way!

You can exchange you money at a cambrio or at your resort. I don't suggest exchanging at the airport as you won't get what the dollar is worth!

Enjoy Jamaica! It's a wonderful island and the people are GREAT

Richmond, VA
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5. Re: Currency Exchange, Cell Phone Use, & Internet access

Idle Awhile on the beach side has an open wireless network. I took my laptop to keep up on work e-mail and had no problems connecting.

Rhonda

Richmond, VA

Bodega, California
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6. Re: Currency Exchange, Cell Phone Use, & Internet access

It is not necessary to change from US to JMD but I strongly suggest you do. You will get better value for your money. Don't make the exchange at the airport tho...do it at a Cambio (money exchange place) or at the bank. You can use your ATM card to withdraw Jamaican $$ and the ATM gives the best rate with Cambios sometimes a bit higher. Don't exchange at Xtabi, their rate is less than what the "posted" exchange rate is by a considerable amount.

Cell Phone: You can rent a cell phone inexpensively at Countrywide, located at HiLo Plaza. You buy individual phone cards ($100JA and up) and input into the phone. This is the least expensive way to make calls to the US. The cost from JA to US on DigiCell or Cable & Wireless is far, far less than using your US based cell phone.

Internet: EasyRock cafe has high-speed DSL connections and charges very reasonable rates. They also do a wireless thing where you pay a certain amount for access for a certain number of days and you can use your laptop (if you must bring it) that way. It's a lovely place...sip Red Stripe and check your e-mail. I don't think Xtabi has wireless but check with them. EasyRock is also more conveniently located to Xtabi than places on the beach.